Finch – the official Apple TV+ trailer

Tom Hanks stars as Finch, a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland. But Finch, who has been living in an underground bunker for a decade, has built a world of his own that he shares with his dog, Goodyear. He creates a robot, played by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it’s as difficult for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world.

Finch debuts November 5, 2021, on Apple TV+.

Personally, I can hardly wait!

Ron Cobb has died

One of the greats in artistic design for film and TV…and everything else that required talent, humor [often] and courage [just about all the time].

Here’s one from the original LA Free Press…back when you could say you saw it in the “FREEP” and anyone hip and willing to challenge the bourgeois establishment knew exactly what publication you meant.

He will be missed.

Right Wing cabal defeated in their try to distort Hugo awards

GRRM
Click to enlarge

George RR Martin has said that the group of rightwing science fiction writers who tried to swing the results of this weekend’s Hugo awards to their own agenda were “routed” by the majority of fans who “did not like having their choices imposed on us”.

Two campaign groups, the so-called “Sad Puppies” and their more politically extreme counterparts the “Rabid Puppies”, had mobilised earlier this year to vote a bloc of writers onto the shortlists for the Hugo awards…

But on Saturday, members of the World Science Fiction Society rejected the finalists for the Hugos in an unprecedented five categories, voting for “No Award” rather than any of the nominees backed by the Puppies, which had included work by John C Wright, an author known for his homophobic views. Nominees picked by the Puppies won in only one category: Guardians of the Galaxy took best dramatic presentation.

“The Puppies lost and lost big; not just defeated, but routed, finishing behind No Award in almost all cases,” blogged Martin on Tuesday night. The bestselling author of the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series has been a high-profile voice in what he has called “the controversy that has plunged all fandom into war”, urging fans to vote and criticising the Puppies for their actions.

On Tuesday, he said that “the Puppies are howling in outrage and anger…But fandom, according to Martin, is “mostly relieved”…

Martin was “pleased … greatly”, he said, to see Chinese author Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem win the best Hugo novel – an award won in the past by some of science fiction’s major names. “It’s a strong book, an AMBITIOUS book, a worthy winner … and the first Hugo to go to China, which is cool. Let us put more ‘world’ in worldcon, by all means.”…

I bought my first sci-fi magazine in 1946. THRILLING WONDER STORIES. That monthly – along with John Campbell’s AMAZING STORIES – became the heart and soul of newsprint periodicals for the rest of my life. Guiding my thoughts on philosophy, science and politics, flowing directly from the pens of giants.

An equal to some of the best, is George RR Martin. Though we’ve never met, we share mutual friends and the clean air of Northern New Mexico. And a love of science fiction.

Truly electric.

Intel’s future casting anthology online/free – The Tomorrow Project

Chip maker Intel has commissioned leading science fiction authors to pen short stories that imagine future uses for the firm’s technology. The collection, called “The Tomorrow Project”, aims to capture the public’s imagination regarding the company’s current research.

The anthology has been made available online as a free download.

The Tomorrow Project is led by Intel futurist Brian David Johnson, who regards the scheme as an important way to assess future technology trends.

“When we design chips to go into your television, your computers, your phones – we need to do it about five or ten years in advance. We need to have an understanding of what people will want to do with those devices,” said Mr Johnson.

What science fiction does is give us a way to think about the implications of the technologies that we’re building, for the people who will actually be using them.”

The concept is called “future casting” – and aims to drive future technology uses, rather than simply responding to market forces…

The initiative suggests a cultural shift by the chip giant, which has had to adjust to sharp changes in the consumer tech landscape.

In previous decades, Intel was able to drive progress and profits through steady increments in processor speed. Yet in a post-PC world, firms like Apple have successfully used lifestyle innovations to frame future market appetites.

Best price in the marketplace.

“The prefix cyber is going the way of the prefix electro”

The rapid rate of technological and social change means the future comes crashing towards us faster than ever before, says visionary science fiction author William Gibson.

“In the 1960s I think that in some sense the present was actually about three or four years long,” he said, “because in three or four years relatively little would change.”

That stood in sharp contrast to late 2010, he said, when big changes had become a daily occurrence.

“Now the present is the length of a news cycle some days,” he said in an interview with BBC News.

That ferocious rate of change made writing about the present day exciting, he said, and explained why his current novel, Zero History, is set around about now.

“The present is really of no width whatever,” he said…

For instance, he said, the flying drones depicted in Zero History and used for surveillance have the potential to inflict big changes very quickly once they become cheap and ubiquitous.

“They are actually going to change the landscapes of cities,” he said.

“People in tall buildings, particularly in cities like New York or Chicago, have been living lives of utter privacy quite unconcerned that anyone might be looking in the window.”

“That’s just not going to be the case anymore,” he said…

Big Brother will be watching 24/7. With the full collaboration of our legislatures, politicians and pundits, media and most ignorant voters. Security is the watchword for cowards.